Keeping Track of Your Urinary Tract
Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are annoying, painful, and for women, all too common. So common, that experts often say that as many as 1 in 2 women will get a UTI during their life. UTI’s occur when bacteria are introduced into the urinary tract. The urethra, which carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body, can pick up bacteria from having sex or when wiping after using the bathroom. One reason why it’s important to wipe from front to back, it lessens the chance of bacteria from the anus being transported to the urethra.
The most common type of UTI is a bladder infection. If not treated, bacteria can travel to the kidneys and infect those as well, becoming a kidney infection. If you are feeling a burning sensation when you urinate, a frequent urge to urinate (even if little urine comes out when you do use the restroom), pain in your back or lower abdomen, dark, bloody, or strange-smelling urine, are lethargic or shaky, or have a fever and chills, you may be suffering from a UTI.
In order to determine if you have a UTI, you will provide the doctor with a urine sample which is then tested to see if there are UTI-causing bacteria. Antibiotics and lots of fluids are the typical treatment for UTI’s. Some women suffer from frequent and repeat UTI’s. If this is the case for you, talk to your doctor to discuss different treatment plans. To prevent UTI’s, empty your bladder whenever you feel the need to go, refrain from using things that can increase irritation such as hygiene sprays or scented douches, clean your genital area before sex, and wear cotton underwear with loose fitting clothing to prevent the growth of bacteria.